The members of European Parliament who visited Jammu and Kashmir’s capital Srinagar on Tuesday appear to have endorsed the Centre’s move on Article 370. Statements have also been made in support of India’s fight against terrorism. The contingent is also reported to have stated that it would not send any official report to the European Union, since Article 370 is an internal issue of India, though it may also be because these lawmakers were on a visit in their private capacities and not as representatives of the EU’s parliament.

Nonetheless, whether this counts as a success from India’s perspective is unclear. Not only did the visit provoke consternation among Indian opposition leaders, especially those who were restrained from visiting and speaking to locals, the locus standi and antecedents of the trip’s organizer-in-chief, an individual, have come under a cloud of controversy. If India’s side of the story now finds a better reception in Europe, then there would certainly be something to show for it. But, as of now, what’s drawing attention is the alleged defiance of protocol that may have gone into the hospitality on display in a restricted-access state.

The best way to defray the criticism over the trip may well be to ask the United Nations to send an official delegation of high-profile dignitaries whose views are valued across a wide swathe of global opinion. That would help acquaint the world with the ground situation in the state that is to be bifurcated tomorrow. Indeed, 31 October would be a good day on which to open the state up further. Information abhors a vacuum. India cannot afford to let misinformation rush in.

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